Former Gin Blossoms singer Robin Wilson has been through rock & roll heaven, rock & roll hell and rock & roll purgatory. Now, with his band the Gas Giants, he hopes to get back to loftier realms. Today, the Phoenix-based band inked a deal with Internet label Atomic Pop, home to Ice T and Public Enemy.
"It's obvious that online is going to be picking up an increasing larger percentage of overall record sales, so it's cool to be a part of something that's really gonna concentrate on that," Wilson said.
What does the new band sound like? "We're still popsters," he said, "but we're a bit more aggressive than the Gin Blossoms were.
Back in 1993, Wilson and the Gin Blossoms were riding high with two Top 40 singles ("Hey Jealousy" and "Found Out About You") from their A&M debut, New Miserable Experience. However, the singer's experience soon became miserable when Blossoms' former guitarist and songwriter Doug Hopkins committed suicide that same year.
When the band's second release, 1996's Congratulations I'm Sorry, didn't live up to expectations, the Gin Blossoms called it quits. Wilson's new band the Pharaohs, with Blossoms drummer Philip Rhodes, inked a deal with A&M in 1997.
Then came the purgatory part. "When A&M got sold to Universal our record was put on hold indefinitely," Wilson said. "When Interscope finally inherited us like a bastard stepchild in February or March, they decided they weren't very interested."
In the spirit of making a fresh start, the Pharaohs changed their name to the Gas Giants, and Atomic Pop plans to release the band's debut album, snidely titled Beyond the Back Burner, to the Internet on Sept. 14 (tentatively) and to stores Oct. 12.
One of the singles, "I Hope My Kids Like Marilyn Manson," expresses Wilson's disillusionment with the demonization of rock music. "I grew up listening to Alice Cooper and Kiss and I didn't turn out to be some Satanist," Wilson explained. "Kids all love that kind of stuff and it's just music -- rock music can't make someone go out and shoot down the school."
Wilson's excited by more than just Burner's music. "We've got one of the coolest album covers in the history of rock & roll. It's a four-page comic book by comic book artist Geof Darrow."
As for harboring any past resentment, Wilson is quick to share his thoughts on the folks at Interscope: "Hopefully they'll all kick themselves in the butt."